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Football goal-line tracking tech delayed

Contenders fail to tickle Fifa's fancy

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A programme to test the use of goal-line technology in football has been extended by a year, after none of the ten systems trialled last month met the criteria set by Fifa.

The systems were presented to the International Football Association Board last week at its annual meeting to review the sport's laws. But while snoods were banned and vanishing spray was approved, the assembled panelists couldn't agree whether the technology had scored or not.

Testing will continue, however, and the results of which will once again be presented at next year's fixture Board meeting.

It's interesting to note that Sony today announced the acquisition of Hawk-Eye, a company specialising in technology for close-call decisions. Hawk-Eye - well known for its implementation in snooker, tennis and cricket - wasn't one of the ten technologies involved in the Fifa test, but its inventor, Paul Hawkins, last week publicly claimed Fifa would like Hawk-Eye to be included.

According to Hawkins, no proper guidelines have been set for what constitutes a pass or a fail in the technology trials. Fifa has only mandated that a decision must be reached within a second, with the result instantly transmitted to the referee.

"What is 100 per cent correct? Is it a centimetre or a millimetre [over the goal line]? Fifa would need to work through these details so it was a fair test for everyone involved," he said.

Hawkins said the cost of development isn't worthwhile unless such details made fully clear. Perhaps with Sony's money behind the company, Hawk-Eye will take a punt. ®

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